tough act to follow

a tough act to follow

Someone or something so exemplary that it overshadows anything that follows. I don't know how Mel's replacement will be received by the staff. He was so admired and respected that he'll be a tough act to follow. That award-winning play will be a tough act to follow on Broadway.
See also: act, follow, tough

tough act to follow

 and hard act to follow
Fig. a difficult presentation or performance to follow or improve upon with one's own performance. Bill's speech was excellent. It was a tough act to follow, but my speech was good also. In spite of the fact that I had a tough act to follow, I did my best.
See also: act, follow, tough

tough act to follow

See hard act to follow.
See also: act, follow, tough
References in periodicals archive ?
Runaway bestseller The Girl On The Train, which has sold 18million copies, was always going to be a tough act to follow. But our reviewer Jake Kerridge thought Into The Water was a more interesting read with better developed characters.
Ally is certainly a tough act to follow, but his legacy will live on through the initiatives he spearheaded and the many people he helped along the way.
Hugh Jackman, who played the adamantium-clawed anti-hero for more than a decade, will be a tough act to follow. He and Egerton starred in the 2015 movie 'Eddie the Eagle' and have been friends since.
But on the flip side, Rafa Benitez going out, it is a tough act to follow. He did an incredible job there and the Premier League is a tough league.
Jobson also said that the Queen will be a tough act to follow because of everything that she has done for the monarchy.
TOUGH ACT TO FOLLOW: Richard Scudamore is leaving Susanna Dinnage (left) with plenty on her plate
"I do feel we have a very tough act to follow, however.
Ehsan Mani thus has a tough act to follow. However he has identified an intelligent agenda that tackles the issues that require attention while leaving the policies of his predecessor intact where they work.
It's a brilliant show and we have a tough act to follow but what a gift to be playing the fascinating and greatly loved Queen Mother.
ANDY King admits Ryan Giggs has a tough act to follow as he prepares to name his first Wales squad today, but believes the Manchester United great can guide the Dragons to further success.
Harris will be a tough act to follow, and Walker will be a tough competitor to beat, although both cast controversial votes in favor of state income tax increases.
"She will be a tough act to follow, but Alison Munro is another experienced local campaigner and I'm delighted she will be standing in May."
Specific topics are sin and crime; transcending Greek love; the manly love of comrades; the highest being drawn down into decadence; health, masculinity, and the third sex; a tough act to follow: homosexuality in fiction after Oscar Wilde; and das bildnis des Oskar Wilde.
ANDY Sullivan admits he has a tough act to follow as he looks to build on a brilliant 2015 campaign which brought three wins and secured a Masters debut.